Espresso Powder vs Instant Coffee: What’s the Difference?

espresso powder vs instant coffee

Powdered coffee products provide coffee drinkers a fast way to get their caffeine fix in the morning, and the packets are easy to take on the go. They’re very popular in places like Great Britain and Korea. We will look at two different types: espresso powder and instant coffee. There are many differences between the two and we’ll be exploring them below so that you can decide which is right for you.

Instant Coffee

Powdered coffee is made from coffee extract that has been dried. It is made by brewing ground coffee, then removing the water to create the powder. It is often spray-dried or freeze-dried. This then gets added to hot water and, once stirred and dissolved, makes coffee. Most instant coffee is made from Robusta beans which tend to have a more bitter taste than Arabica coffee beans. Some brand-name companies or coffee shop brands have instant coffees made of Arabica beans, which surely have a less harsh flavor. An 8 oz cup of instant coffee has an average caffeine range of 27 mg to 173 mg, with the average being 66 mg of caffeine. This is less than a cup of brewed coffee which averages 112 mg. Typically, the consumer can choose how much of the powder they want in their hot water to determine the strength of their cup of coffee.

instant coffee

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Powdered Espresso

Espresso powder is made the same way that instant coffee is made, but the flavor is different. Espresso is concentrated coffee and the same goes for the powdered version. It has a stronger, darker flavor than instant coffee. It also tends to be smoother. Instant coffee is considered harsh in comparison. Instant espresso is more often made with higher quality beans as well, usually Arabica blends. Instant espresso has around 58 mg of caffeine, but some brands have higher caffeine content than others. Bakers and pastry chefs often use it in their baked goods and desserts, especially with chocolate. It isn’t popularly used for drinking and isn’t widely available in grocery stores. However, there are several places online you can order it from if you want to use powdered espresso. It can give you an instant shot or two of espresso without you having to tamp and pull the shots or wait for a stovetop espresso maker.

espresso powder

What’s Right for You?

If you want a quick caffeine boost at the office, at home, or while you’re traveling, you can use instant coffee or powdered espresso. Which one you should choose depends on your preference. Instant coffee provides a full cup of coffee to sip on, better control regarding how strong your cup of coffee is, and typically has more caffeine. Instant espresso is going to have a little less caffeine and a dark, stronger flavor, but will be smoother and less harsh than instant coffee. Whichever you choose, enjoy your coffee on the go!

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